Adventures in Illinois Higher Education: Statist Speeches
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By: Shane Radliff
May 5th, 2015
For those who are unaware, I am a college student at a local community college. I had to take speech this semester and have made sure to choose at LEAST semi-controversial topics in order to possibly intrigue some folks into listening to the show or into doing their own research.
There is no possible way to gauge whether or not I have been successful in my efforts, but I would imagine it was ineffective. Although, the opportunity cost is the same whether I do my speech on ways to prevent drunk driving or on the couple of topics I’ve enlightened my listeners with, so it’s at least worth a shot.
The first speech I did was on the War on Drugs and I focused heavily on civil asset forfeiture. That didn’t seem to challenge my fellow classmates’ way of thinking too much, and I got quite a few questions. Great. I was happy to answer any of them.
The topic selection was interesting for that speech, I will admit. The kid before me did his speech on the different forms of carrying weapons (conceal/open)– definitely interesting; and the lady after me did hers on government waste (spending). It was quite a political day and although I disagree with most of what was said, it was a much better alternative than the one I experienced today.
The next relevant speech was today. I decided to end the semester extremely strong by discussing communism in America. I proceeded to explain to the class the Federal Reserve, the graduated income tax, government schools, the control of all means of communication and transportation, and the abolition of private property; just some of the 10 planks of the Communist Manifesto.
I started with the Federal Reserve, as that is one of the most well-known entities to most people (I forgot to mention it was a private corporation—I’m kicking myself for that one). I explained the central banking aspect and relayed to them Lenin’s words which stated that 90% of communizing a country is done by setting up a central bank. I then followed it with Woodrow Wilson’s quote in 1919.
At that point, I certainly had their attention. Everyone was intrigued and was still attempting to understand (from what I could tell). That didn’t last long though. I proceeded on through the rest of my speech, and by the end there were only a couple of people paying attention—one classmate that did this speech on fluoride and has worn some “political” shirts, and the other was an attractive female that sat near me (well, at least there’s that).
I’m certain, that about halfway through the speech, cognitive dissonance kicked in. It was interesting to see how fast the discomfort creeped in throughout my speech.
To define cognitive dissonance, I will use a few proposed by Dr. Gary Kohl:
“Cognitive dissonance refers to the psychological or emotional discomfort felt when one is confronted with new information or a new reality that contradicts one’s deeply held beliefs. It appears to be especially common among people who have been inundated with television commercials, repeated claims from a “Trusted” talking head on TV or radio…”
The second definition:
“When there is are conflicting, mutually exclusive beliefs, intelligent, open-minded and thoughtful people that have not been victimized by cruelty during their childhood, are usually willing to change their minds by re-evaluating their prior stances, looking carefully and honestly at the new evidence, reassessing the credibility of both positions and then making a decision to adopt or reject the new information, depending on the evidence before them.”
The final definition:
“Close-minded, distracted, uninformed, ignorant, too-busy, overly obedient, uber-patriotic, addicted, co-opted or intensely conservative people may not have the time, inclination, intelligence or political will (or courage) to look at the available new evidence that runs contrary to their old, ingrained beliefs. Therefore they may unconsciously or reflexively reject the new information, even if the evidence is overwhelmingly and provably true.” [Emphasis added by the author]
It’s quite sad that when people are told the truth (some probably for the first time in their life), they literally just shut down. The speech I gave today contradicted the “patriotism” and “freedom” line that they have been indoctrinated into for their entire lives and showed them compelling evidence that we are not a “democracy” or a “republic” anymore; more importantly, we aren’t FREE. The whole mindset of, “It can’t happen here,” was probably floating around in some of their minds.
It can happen here, and it has. It has been here for quite a long time. Your inability or unwillingness to accept it doesn’t make it go away. It certainly doesn’t.
The speech following me was titled, something along the lines of, “The Government Isn’t Doing Enough to Prevent Drunk Driving.” You can already tell this one is going to be a doozy; but, as someone who is always willing to at least hear out the other side, I listened attentively.
She began by going through some statistics of drunk driving and the state law in regards to it. Now is where the statism starts to bleed through.
She proposed a government mandate to install breathalyzers on EVERY SINGLE CAR. Then, it would be impossible for anyone to drive drunk (it brought to mind the whole, “one law away from utopia” phrase) because when the State intervenes, everything becomes all rainbows and unicorns.
She did mention one of the cons as being a punishment for everyone, which is certainly true. Whatever happened to freedom? When did freedom turn into government mandates on the entire populace? Well, it’s been that way for a long time, but it is still just as infuriating.
Even though this is highly unlikely to happen, it’s still a dangerous mindset to have. Whether it’s the forced installation of breathalyzers on every car, or gun control, it’s begging Daddy (the State) to come in and protect us. They hardly ever miss an opportunity to do that, as it creates more control every single time.
I had a couple of questions that I didn’t have the opportunity to ask her; quite honestly, I probably wouldn’t have gotten a logical answer, so maybe its best I didn’t. A couple of those questions being:
- Can you name on instance of something getting better when the government gets involved?
- Wouldn’t it be more effective to teach people personal responsibility and compassion than to coerce them into abiding by another government mandate?
Today was an interesting day, but indeed, infuriating. We saw another student fall victim to the communistic public schooling system that destroys all critical thinking. Although I am sympathetic to a certain extent, statism is dangerous and needs to be called out and destroyed.
My experiences at this community college are going to be mild in relation to next spring. I will be at Illinois State University, one of the most liberal colleges in Illinois. I’ve gotten some good writing material from the community college—stay tuned for my statist experiences at the University this upcoming year.